the riders: famine, pt. 1

Famine was a goth girl, studying psychology, working at the lab as a research assistant for the summer. She brought a little life to the place, mostly by being loud and enthusiastic, and I appreciated that. It was one of those things where I don't even remember when we became a thing, but once it happened it felt like it had always been there, and we'd work all day and drink wine all night.

This was when we were increasingly becoming one of the only places left in the world with any money or influence. War had ravaged the rest of the planet. There were lots of people still alive, but resources were becoming scarce as fallout and more conventional deaths destroyed a lot of farmland and other such places.

When she was drunk, Famine talked a lot about how people don't understand what they want or what they need. She did a lot of research in fields like the self and identity and self-awareness, and it always turned out nobody actually knows much about anything. They couldn't tell you why they liked a movie, for instance, or why they broke up with their girlfriend. They only come up with justification after.

It was nothing I hadn't heard before, but she had a way of saying it that made me think. And by winter I had bought the rest of the world's resources. She volunteered to manage it while I continued the important work of managing the technology that the most important lab in the world was churning out.

I barely cared when she notified me that everyone who might be called our rivals had gone bankrupt, unless I offered to buy them up instead.

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